I turned 50 on March 11, 2011. I weighed somewhere around 300 pounds and my weight was climbing. If asked, I would have told you that I doubted I would see 55. I also would have told you that while I wanted to lose weight, I didn’t expect I would. I wasn’t doing a damned thing to make it happen.
I had lost some weight in 2004. I gained it back. I had lost weight in 2010. I gained it back.
I would have to admit that by 2011 I had accepted that I was a fat man. I was going to stay a fat man. I would die a fat man.
Between March 11, 2011 and December 27, 2011 something in me changed. Something fundamental to who I am and who I wanted to be changed and I really don’t know what. Simply put it really doesn’t matter. What matters is it did change. I did change.
By March 11, 2012 I had dropped to the 268 pounds. I went for a walk with The Younger One and I took a bike ride. It was 62 degrees and I got in a ten-mile ride. It was slow and it was difficult but I did it.
March 11, 2013 I weighed in at 203 pounds. I had a head cold much as I have one today. I was able to get in a ride on the Sunday before my birthday but this time I rode 30 miles despite some cold weather and the head cold.
And today I turn 53.
I again have a March Head Cold.
Finally the weather is good. It was 62 degrees when I got home from work. I changed in to my gear and I went for a short ride. I went only 8 miles. Loaded with cold medications and my head all congested…. But I rode. That is what matters. When presented with ample and legitimate excuses to not ride I still rode. I got in my Birthday Ride.
Today is more than a birthday.
Today is a good day for remembering and thinking and committing to continued progress.
My life has changed a great deal since December, 2011. Three birthdays now and I am a very different person. I am fit. I am lean. My mind is clearer and I am happier. I have kept this going since 2011. It is a part of me now.
There was a time in my life when I really would not have expected to make it to 53. So many of my friends did not. Here I am. Still riding. Still moving. Still on the Journey.
The Younger One begged and pleaded with Missus. He cajoled and he wheedled. He convinced Missus to make me a chocolate birthday cake.
How could I refuse a piece?
I didn’t. I have a nice sized piece and it was delicious.
Of course I ate a light dinner to prepare for the cake.
The Younger One had a piece as well. A nice thick piece. Just so I wouldn’t eat alone of course.
I have a very giving and caring son.
The Long Winter
I must be living right. Today was magnificent. In the mid-sixties and sunny even when I got home from work, It was perfect riding weather. It was exactly the sort of weather I love riding in. Nearly no wind and the temperature right in my comfort zone.
Tomorrow it will be cold and rainy. On Thursday there is a real possibility of snow and ice.
Somehow on my birthday we had beautiful weather.
It has been a long and unhappy winter. Today I rode 8 miles and they are the first miles I have put on my bike this year.
And the winter is not over yet.
But the signs are there. The sun is higher in the sky. The snow begins to melt. The cold spells are shorter.
Spring will be here and I will be healthy and I will ride.
And the Journey will continue.
I will get out and get in some hikes before working at the shop on weekends. I will get in early morning ride on the weekends and I will get in some evening rides during the week.
It is all this and more that fuels me. It is this that keeps me on my Journey. The plans and the goals. The memories to be made of standing on a bluff and looking over the Hudson, of flying along a country road on a solo ride, of sharing the companionship of good people as we pedal along in a group ride.
It is the view in the mirror when I see the me I am now. It is the disbelief when I look at pictures taken of me only three birthdays ago. It is the knowledge that while it is not always difficult it will ever be easy and I am good with that. I am ready.
When I was 50 years old and 300 plus pound I didn’t think I would make 53. I have no idea why I was OK with that.
Now I am 53 years old. I am a Father. I am a Husband. I am a Brother and an Uncle and a Cousin and a Friend.
It took me many years to understand the value in being all that. It took me many years to understand that I was the value in being all that.
Yes. Spring is coming. It has been a long winter.